Boy, Democratic presidents really are bad for big-business and the stock market. Of course, no president is responsible for all good or bad economic news. But no matter how many times I point that out, I still hear frequently from Myrtle Beach-area critics who say the same thing, that President Obama hates Wall Street and is bad for the economy overall.
My most recent piece was about what’s happened to the jobs market since he’s been in office, with an unemployment rate that went as high as 10 percent now at 6.1 percent. Click here for that piece.
That type of trajectory matters to people in Myrtle Beach and South Carolina, and we should all hope it continues to improve. But a lot of people are so stuck on the image of Obama as anti-business they seem committed more to despising him that rooting improvement in the economy that would be good for us all.
I hope that sentiment changes sometimes soon.
How far up, though? More important, how do gains under Obama compare with gains under other presidents who made it to 2,000 days?
Answer: He’s in the top half of the eight presidents since the Great Depression whose time in office lasted that long. That can always change, of course. And there’s considerable debate over whether he – or any other president for that matter – can influence the stock market or whether they’re just along for the ride.
“I wouldn’t be looking to give the administration a lot of credit for the stock market’s [performance],” said Sam Stovall, managing director of U.S. Equity Strategy at S&P Capital IQ. He notes, however, that stocks generally do better under Democrats than Republicans, particularly when stocks start out low.
As of right now, Obama ranks third behind top-finisher Bill Clinton and runner-up Franklin Delano Roosevelt in terms of stock gains, according to our calculations. After Obama, in order, it’s Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, George W. Bush and Richard Nixon. (Yes, Nixon barely made it in this club; he resigned 2,027 days into his presidency amid the Watergate scandal.)
There are a few surprises in the data. First, Obama not only finished ahead of Reagan, thought by many to be the architect of one of the greatest economic recoveries of the 20th century, he will be well ahead of him when his 2,000th day comes on Saturday. Major stock indexes have averaged gains of more than 140 percent under Obama, while they were up 88 percent at this same point in the Reagan years.